Amazon India expands its ‘Saheli’ Program

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New Delhi: In an effort to further strengthen its pioneering program ‘Saheli’, Amazon Indiatoday announced partnerships with MannDeshi Foundation and COWE (Confederation of Women Entrepreneurs). Aimed at empowering women entrepreneurs associated with these notable organizations, Amazon India will support these women to sell their products on the Amazon.in marketplace, the most visited and transacted marketplace in India. Through these alliances, Amazon India aims to bring a change in the lives of over 62000 women entrepreneurs across the country, expanding the program reach by 3 times since its launch in November last year.

Founded in 1996, Mann Deshi Foundation works on nurturing and supporting rural women entrepreneurs in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka with the knowledge, skills, courage, access to markets and capital toimprove their standard of living. COWE, with over 12 years of supporting women entrepreneurs, has been helping its members by the way of training, mentoring, creating, marketing and networking platforms. Through these partnerships, women entrepreneurs associated with Mann Deshi Foundation and COWE will be able to offer their products to Amazon.in customers through a dedicated storefront, ‘The Saheli Store’. Women entrepreneurs will get a chance to feature unique products such as apparels, food, home and kitchen accessories,produced locally by them on the Saheli store. Besides offering the registered women entrepreneurs an unparalleled reach to customers, Amazon Saheli will help them gain world-class logistics and fulfilment facilities to help their businesses soar. Women entrepreneurs under the program will be able to enjoy a slew of benefits such as training, imaging& cataloging services at no costfor launch subsidized referral fee, post launch account management support and enhanced discoverability through separatestorefront.

Mr. Gopal Pillai, Director & GM, Seller Services, Amazon India said,“In line with our vision to transform how India buys and sells, we launched ‘Amazon Saheli’ last year to focus and address challenges faced by Indian women entrepreneurs and help them gain visibility and access to resources. We believe that e-commerce and specifically the e-marketplace model is a great avenue for women entrepreneurs to benefit from the fast-growing digital economy. We are excited to partner with organizations such as Mann Deshi and COWE, who share the same vision of supporting women entrepreneurs and help them become more economically robust. With the help of our notable partners, we can truly bring a change in the lives of thousands of women entrepreneurs.”

Speaking on the partnership, Ms. Chetna Gala Sinha, Founder, Mann Deshi Foundation said, “We have always believed that access to finance isn’t the only factor for success. Building business skills and access to markets unlocks the true potential of rural women entrepreneurs. This is where we believe that e-commerce can provide the right reach to these women entrepreneurs through newer markets across the country. Mann Deshi Foundation is happy to join hands with Amazon India to train and enable our women entrepreneurs to sell online and boost their businesses through Amazon Saheli.”

“We are happy to collaborate with Amazon India for helping women entrepreneurs explore the arena of e-commerce. This partnership will help our members showcase and sell their products to the massive and loyal Amazon customer base across the country. Amazon is known worldwide for their rich experience and deep understanding of consumers. By imparting relevant training, counseling and handholding to enhance their skills, we are confident that through this partnership we will be able to positively impact hundreds of women entrepreneurs.” said Ms. Sandhya Reddy, National Vice President, COWE.

Launched last year in November with SEWA and Impulse Social Enterprise, Amazon Saheli currently has over 900 products listed by women entrepreneurs. Through the program, Amazon will be conducting extensive training and skill development workshops for its partners to help women entrepreneurs understand nuances related to online selling and, develop skills & capabilities necessary to grow their business on Amazon.in. The training workshops will comprise of sessions on listing of products, imaging & cataloging, packaging & shipping, inventory & account management and customer service to name a few. The workshops will be free of cost and will offer several exclusive benefits including assisted onboarding and mentorship programs.